Bean Jive Consulting's MDI (Multiple Document Interface) component is essentially an OS style desktop. In your desktop you can define icons which can launch windows. The windows can contain local content -- say, a symbol from the library -- or they can load external content. You can also define a menu (something like a Windows start menu), message boxes, question boxes, and input boxes. Windows can be closed, minimized and maximized, hidden or shown, dragged around, and their colors can be customized. It is also possible to skin the windows by replacing the standard interface elements (e.g. the close or minimize buttons) symbols with your own symbols. A particularly nice feature is that the component takes care of all the preloading for you.

Despite all of this, one is left wishing for more customization options. For example, it would be nice if one could easily make the windows semi-transparent to create a liquid or glass sort of theme. Other features such as particular mouse over effects could also be handy, e.g. if one could easily make the windows change color slightly with an onRollOver. The component is generally customizable, but there are many other features that cannot be tweaked.

Even more, I found the component rather difficult to figure out and cumbersome to use. The component is rather complex and requires a certain familiarity with its inner workings. For example, if you don't know which actionscript methods to invoke to add a window, or to hide a window, or whatever else is needed, you'll be stuck with an empty desktop. Clear and thorough documentation is essential with this component (at least I wish it were provided for me). It does leave a lot of work up to you.